- The Lakeland Union Nordic Ski team started skiing the trails at Minocqua Winter Park 30 years ago. The team has grown since then. Only three members made up the team in the beginning and now they have almost 100 skiers of all ages.
"The first 5, 10 years we had three girls a couple of boys and really hardly a team," said retired coach Ken Schoville. Since starting the Lakeland Union Nordic Ski team in the 1980's Schoville has seen an increase in skiers."We started to develop a ski program for younger grades and from that we have continued to develop again both types of kids that come to the ski program those that are what we call skiers that already have the tools necessary to keep moving on and kids that are brand new to the sport," said Schoville. The program has always skied at Minocqua Winter Park."They've been our home base for 30 some years and we continue to have good relationships with the foundation that operates it," said Schoville. Schoville handed over coaching to Mike Bolger last year. He says the team continues to bring in athletes- some who've never skied before. "Going into it, I knew we had some talented skiers, but I would have to say, it's the new kids who have come out for this sport, and really bought into the program," said Bolger. Bolger believes the program does more than just benefit the skiers. It benefits the community. "With 4-6 inches of snow weekend Nordic ski people come, and they stay in hotels, they buy gas, they eat in restaurants, so it's a boom to the economy," said Bolger. Schoville's glad Bolger wants to keep the ski team in the community. "To me that long term continuity and growth and thinking that when I'm gone and move on then it's going to be here, it's going to be a part of the north, "said Schoville. Last weekend the Lakeland Union Nordic Ski Girls team took first place at the Nordic Ski State championships in Rhinelander. They'll compete this weekend in Madison.
Story By: Hayley Tenpas